Wednesday, February 24, 2016

quality work

Yesterday I mentioned my concerns with getting my 4th, 5th and 6h grade students to do quality work, and of course their sense of quality is not my own. My senses have been homed by over 40 years as a craftsman. Perhaps that's why Salomon recommended that teachers of Sloyd not be drawn from the ranks of working craftsmen. We might put too much pressure on them to reach a certain standard in their work that might actually be unattainable at their age, and that by doing so we might stifle their creative interests and confidence.

I repeat myself a great deal just as I might need to sharpen my chisels again and again after regular use, so this is not the first time the subject has come up. I offer this link to an earlier post, disdain vs. care. In it you'll find this quote from Robert Keable Row, 1909 that spelled out a hoped for future that for most never arrived. It appears that the titans of corporate America could care less for the intellectual and moral well-being of our citizens.
"The marvelous development of machinery for manufacturing, with all its accompanying advantages has had this disadvantage, that it has deprived the worker of a large part of the personal pride and joy he had in the work of his hands. It is not unreasonable to hope that shorter hours for the factory worker, cheaper and better transportation to suburban homes, training in manual occupations in the schools, growth of the arts and crafts idea, and development of an appreciation of the difference between machine made decoration and the work of the artist-artisan, may restore to civilized man in general, and to the city dweller especially, much of that joy in human production of which machinery has deprived him."
I am shifting my guitar making from school to my home workshop to ease the taking of photos of various steps.You can see some of the various guitars I've made as models to inspire student work, but now as my students' work progresses, they no longer need my examples as they can observe stages in each others work. The advantage now of having them home is that I've been attempting to play them.  And while I am not trained in the guitar, and have few of the advantages one with lessons might have had, it is a great pleasure to hold one and hear the lovely sounds it can make. The disadvantage is that I make too many of them and will have to find friends to take them off my hands, despite each one having become a friend to me in its own right.

Make, fix, create and extend to others the love of learning likewise.

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